Saturday, February 16, 2008

Name Day

Today is my name day! In Norway, each day of the year is associated with a name, or a group of similar names. And today is the name day for Jill! In the newspaper here, they always have a little blurb about which name day it is, and interview someone with that name. That's about the extent of the excitement. From what I've heard, name days are actually celebrated in Sweden, but according to Wikipedia (my favorite website, by the way), a calendar company randomly assigned the most common Norwegian names to the different days of the year in 1988. So it's not exactly a tradition around here.

But, the interesting thing is that while I was searching around on the web now, I found a site that the Social Security administration has where you can check the popularity of various names, both now and in the past. I've know for a long time about a similar site in Norway, but I didn't realize that there was an American equivalent. I think names and statistics about names are fascinating for some reason, so I was pretty happy to find it. And, I checked the statistics for my name for the last 100 years and was quite surprised. Jill was relatively popular in the 20's but was used less and less often until it reached a low point right around, well, 1969. But, the interesting part is that the name has been gaining a lot of popularity lately and is now up to the same level it was in the 1920's. I actually know someone who named her baby Jill, but I kind of thought that was a fluke. Interesting to think that there are so many little baby Jills around. I've always really liked my name, and I hope they do, too!

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